Law News

Chief Justice Peralta to retire early


MANILA (UPDATE) - Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta will retire from his post a year early, the high court's spokesman said Tuesday, allowing President Rodrigo Duterte to name at least one more top magistrate before his term ends in 2022.

Peralta, who was appointed top magistrate in October 2019, will retire on March 27, 2021, his 69th birthday, according to Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Hosaka. The mandatory retirement age for high court justices is 70.

He was the 3rd chief justice that Duterte named after the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief magistrate in 2018. Sereno’s high court stint was supposed to outlast Duterte’s presidency but she was removed on a quo warranto petition filed by Duterte’s Solicitor General, Jose Calida. 

Peralta succeeded former top magistrates Lucas Bersamin and Teresita de Castro, who served for just 44 days after Sereno was booted out.

"The Chief Justice did not elaborate further but said that he will make a formal announcement in due time," Hosaka said.

He was the 3rd chief justice that Duterte named after the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as chief magistrate in 2018. Sereno’s high court stint was supposed to outlast Duterte’s presidency but she was removed on a quo warranto petition filed by Duterte’s Solicitor General, Jose Calida. 

Peralta succeeded former chief magistrates Lucas Bersamin and Teresita de Castro, who served for just 44 days after Sereno was booted out.

Peralta was first appointed to the high court in January 2009 as associate justice and served as Sandiganbayan associate and presiding justice from 2002 to 2008. In both instances, he was appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Among high-profile decisions Peralta penned at the high court was the November 2016 ruling upholding the legality of the controversial burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

He also wrote the August 2017 decision allowing plea bargaining in small-time drug cases, the September 2018 decision requiring mandatory compliance with chain of custody requirements in drug cases, and the June 2019 ruling granting retroactive application of the expanded good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law.

Peralta also voted to uphold the legality of administration critic Sen. Leila De Lima’s February 2017 arrest, the declaration of martial law in Mindanao and its extensions, and the closure of Boracay island in 2018 for rehabilitation.

He was in favor of Sereno’s ouster and was among justices who testified against her during the House of Representatives probe on the impeachment complaint against the former high court chief.

Peralta also voted to dismiss the same-sex marriage petition and the writ of kalikasan petition filed by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and fishermen from Zambales and Palawan.

By: Mike Navallo

This article was first published by ABS-CBN News.


Source: https://news.abs-cbn.com/news/12/01/20/chief-justice-peralta-to-retire-early-sources